Answer: In some cases it is important not to plant anything besides lawn grass in a drainage area because the plantings could slow the water movement during heavy runoff periods, and a planting can sometimes cause erosion problems as well. Having said that, you might consider some of the following large growing shrubs to plant on the edge of the area. These plants will tolerate moisture and can run their roots along the sides of wet area as needed to seek it out. These shrubs are in the general size range you described: Ilex verticillata or winterberry holly (can be trained to a tree-like shape with several trunks), Cornus sericea or redosier dogwoods which are dense and spreading shrubs, and the broadleafed evergreen Ilex glabra or inkberry holly which can be trimmed to a more formal shape if needed. Your local professional nursery staff and/or county extension may also have some suggestions based on a more detailed knowledge of the site conditions.
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